Sunday, April 22, 2007

Grandma Fish's Surpise Birthday Party

Grandma Fish's Birthday
Early Saturday morning, John and Maggie met us at our house and we headed South on the I-15 towards Newport Beach for a surprise birthday party that Maggie and her sister, Jan, have been planning for months for Grandma Fish.

We stopped for breakfast at Coco's in Baker before arriving at Tom and Susan's house where the party will be held.

I started on cooking the different components of what would ultimately become spring rolls while Maggie, Jan, and Susan made centerpieces of sweet peas for the dinner tables. After a while, we needed some fuel to energize our bodies after getting up so early to make the long drive so Jan made a batch of Asian Pear Mojitos. (She found the recipe through a Google search and apparently, it is the recipe from a P.F. Change bartender.)

Nothing could be so good and refreshing as the mojitos Aunt Jan made!! With that, we continued to work and before we knew it, the rest of the family started arriving until finally everyone was present for the big moment--when Grandma would arrive with Jan later in the afternoon.Johnny and Daly

(The story is that Jan and Grandma were invited to Tom and Susan's for her birthday dinner. For the moment, Jan was "working at a site with the landscapers".)

After finishing up with the cooking at Susan's house, Jan left for home to pick up Grandma. Finally, Grandma and Jan pulled into the driveway. All was silent as we gathered around the front door. Maggie answered the doorbell and, Grandma--not expecting Maggie to be there, was just speechless as she saw everyone else gathered around the doorway. Her reaction was just priceless.

After cocktail hour, dinner began: juicy grilled beef tenderloin, poached salmon, tasty chicken lasagna, fresh spring rolls, succulent artichokes, warm goat cheese salad, and cucumber salad with all of the fixings. (I drool thinking about all of the delicious food we had.)

Dinner was just excellent--maybe I had a little too much fun but it was finally time for the opening of gifts. Tons of cards had been mailed to Tom and Susan's home from relative who couldn't be present. Some of the cards were from overseas and some played music. Grandma enjoyed opening each of them and sharing her cards with everyone around the dinner table.

Setting the scene.After opening her other gifts, she finally came upon the last box with a colorful wrapper--our group gift.

Inside was a soft lunch box with tropical patterns. Or so she thought. But she loved it and graciously admired her new lunch box just as she had done with her previous gifts.

She noticed her lunch box was stuffed but didn't think much of it but the crowd around the table encouraged her to open her lunch box.

To her surprise--she discovered a clear plastic bag full of hundred dollar bills. It was so funny watching her as she closed her lunch box in disbelief and peeked into it, as if expecting the cash not to be there.

Needless to say Grandma was stunned and we were all so happy for her. Hopefully she may purchase that headboard for her bed that she has always wanted or perhaps take a trip to visit her family in England or whatever her big heart wishes.

We topped off our wonderful evening with a piece of the chocolate birthday cake and a slice of lemon meringue vanilla ice cream pie. It was just a great weekend!







Sometimes, while flying on Canada flights or transversing the oceans on Jet Airlines, one does feel like going for some time travel backwards. To the days of nice old car rental deals and countryside,where getting a car rental was no big deal at all. Also because these formal stays at expensive hotel rooms remind one of the nice pay guests tradition.

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